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March 10, 2014

Beaming in via a livestream from Russia, Edward Snowden made a rare public appearance at the South By Southwest Interactive festival. He didn't mince any words: During the hour-long chat hosted in conjunction with the American Civil Liberties Union, the former National Security Agency employee-turned-leaker told attendees they are "firefighters" against the government's surveillance state and warned about its future.

Per Yahoo, Snowden said the NSA is "setting fire to the future of the internet" and that the "result has been an adversarial internet." He added that the NSA's surveillance state is "nothing we asked for, it's not something we wanted." Head on over to Yahoo to read a complete wrap-up. Jordan Valinsky

2:08 p.m. ET

A possibly very confused voter at a John Kasich town hall in Windham, New Hampshire, wanted to know why she should vote for the Ohio governor in the "Democratic primary" — and Kasich, a Republican, didn't correct her. The question did not seem to be a slip of the tongue, either: The voter said she was having a hard time deciding between Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, and John Kasich in the "Democratic primary" and wanted to know why Kasich should have her vote.

"Isn't that interesting," Kasich said as the crowd around her gasped. However, without mentioning his political allegiance or correcting the voter, Kasich went on to position himself as a good compromise between Sanders and Clinton saying, "One of them's too hot, one of them's too cold, but I've got the right temperature."

When Kasich asked the voter how he did in convincing her, she awkwardly dodged by saying, "I'll let you know tomorrow." Watch the scene unfold, below. Jeva Lange

1:57 p.m. ET
Christopher Polk/Getty Images

Chris Martin majorly owes Beyoncé, and not just because she and Bruno Mars salvaged Coldplay's impressively sub-par halftime show. Bey, who collaborated with Martin on Coldplay's 2015 song "Hymn for the Weekend," apparently wasn't always so eager to work with him.

When Martin played her a prospective collaboration song, "Hook Up," she had some pretty blunt feedback for him, he told Rolling Stone. The "Formation" singer turned Martin down "in the sweetest possible way: She told me, 'I really like you — but this is awful.'"

It's not hard to laugh at Martin, but who among us doesn't envy that he has been in the presence of Beyoncé? Julie Kliegman

1:22 p.m. ET
Mark Wilson/Getty Images

The White House announced a plan Monday to expand the federal government's ability to investigate and discipline colleges accused of fraud, The Wall Street Journal reports. President Obama seeks $13.6 million from Congress, which would factor into the fiscal year 2017 budget.

Under the plan, the Education Department is forming a Student Aid Enforcement Unit to broaden the types of investigations the federal government already does. It's considered part of the administration's promise to aid Americans grappling with student debt.

Both public and private schools will be subject to investigations for deceiving students with false promises. Julie Kliegman

1:05 p.m. ET
Darren McCollester/Getty Images

Jeb Bush has a fighting chance of making an important second-place finish in New Hampshire's primary on Tuesday — a comeback that some believe can be pinned on his decision to embrace his inner bewildered goof. Writing for Slate, Franklin Foer argues that Bush has gone from being kicked-while-he's-down to emerging as a true contender in the Granite State thanks to his uncensored authenticity. "Bush may be the most authentic of the pack — patrician, goofy, a little flummoxed," Foer claims.

Strangely, it's Trump who has helped Bush find himself. When Trump started belittling him, Jeb reverted to Bush form. He couldn't understand how anyone could question his noble pursuit of public service. In the face of Trump's attacks, he looked hurt and stunned. But Bush has embraced Trump-bashing as a moral calling. He gets quite braggadocious when describing how he, and he alone, has the backbone to stand up to the bully. And his attacks on Trump do have a certain swagger now. "I'm not a psychiatrist or a psychologist, but the guy needs therapy," he blared on Saturday. [Slate]

Of course, now the ultimate test remains: If being an authentic joyful tortoise is truly the way to voters' hearts. Read the argument in Slate. Jeva Lange

12:58 p.m. ET
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Remember that weird file you opened decades ago that deleted all your stuff and destroyed your computer's ability to function? You can now relive that trauma, thanks to The Malware Museum.

The Internet Archive has catalogued dozens of examples of old malware for your viewing pleasure. And don't worry — the modified versions are safe and won't actually cause you any trouble.

As Wired notes, the first-ever virus, Brain.A, isn't available, but plenty of other taunting viruses should keep you plenty busy. Julie Kliegman

12:13 p.m. ET

Days after Ted Cruz used a questionable campaign tactic in a bid for Iowa caucus support, potential voters are now calling one of the Texas senator's fundraising strategies into question.

Registered Democrats, Republicans, and independents alike say they've been getting envelopes from Cruz that read "check enclosed," The Huffington Post reports. But lo and behold, the mail is actually asking people for money, not giving it to them. There technically is a check inside, but it's a fake one Cruz wrote to himself.

Huffington Post readers in New Jersey, Arizona, Oklahoma, Texas, Maine, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, New Hampshire, and other states have said they received the mailing. The campaign's tactic sounds not unlike a tactic used by sketchy televangelists John Oliver exposed in 2015. Julie Kliegman

11:42 a.m. ET
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Suspects who have been tased by police while being taken into custody are more likely to waive their Miranda rights and provide false confessions, according to new research (PDF) published in the Criminology & Public Policy journal.

That's because a Taser's 50,000-volt shock temporarily impairs brain function, so "TASER-exposed participants resembled patients with mild cognitive impairment," the study says. "Thus, part of our findings implicates a suspect's ability to issue a valid waiver [of Miranda rights], whereas another part implicates the accuracy of information he or she might give investigators during a custodial interrogation."

Even innocent suspects are at greater risk of self-incrimination after being tased. "They may waive their Miranda rights and make incriminating statements to police without the benefit of counsel," and then find those comments difficult to explain once their mental function has recovered later on.

The study notes that American police have tased 2.37 million people in the last decade, an average of 904 tasings per day, or one every two minutes. Bonnie Kristian

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